Responding to today’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that Turkey’s repeated extensions to the pre-trial detention of opposition leader Selahattin Demirtaş, were politically motivated and violated Articles 5(3) and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights and were “stifling pluralism and freedom of political debate”, Turkey Strategy and Research Manager, Andrew Gardner said:
“This ruling by Europe's top human rights court should have far-reaching implications within the country where civil society actors are routinely remanded in prolonged pre-trial detention under trumped up charges. It exposes the pernicious and undue influence of politics in Turkey’s broken judicial system, in which the peaceful expression of opinions and political dissent are punished through the courts.
“As a member state of the Council of Europe, Turkey is bound by the Court’s rulings. The authorities must implement the Court’s decision and immediately release Selahattin Demirtaş from his prolonged and unlawful pre-trial detention.”